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A THORNY ISSUE: The Jeff Miller debacle


Andi Thornhill

A THORNY ISSUE: The Jeff Miller debacle

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The Barbados Cricket Association’s (BCA) current dilemma seems to be of its own making.

And the situation puts the job of chief executive officer Jeff Miller on the line – and possibly the entire board as well.

Since news broke of Miller’s legal problems, the question of due diligence came into play.

If it was done, you would have to ask what basis was Miller hired on?

If the BCA’s search unearthed what has come to light, how could they even consider making Miller a job offer because his predicament wasn’t something that could be concealed for any length of time, not given the way social media works.

Not given how things are leaked and how they manage to drop off a truck nowadays.

So something had to give and it did.

I don’t think that having applied for the top post, any onus was on Miller to make any frank disclosure about his troubles if he wasn’t asked to do so. As the old line goes, “Me to know, you to find out”.

However, once the BCA decided Miller was the man for the pick, it was imperative to do background checks to ensure that the chosen one could survive any test of scrutiny.

If they did, were the findings brought to the attention of the selected chief executive officer?

And if so, why would they proceed to place him in the job knowing of the credibility questions that could arise as a result?

On the other hand, was the case still pending at the time of his selection?

If it was, was there some leeway to put any pending appointment on hold because it is sacrosanct that you’re innocent until proven guilty?

If these were the prevailing circumstances, wouldn’t it have been better to put the placement on hold until judgement was decided if the BCA had made up its mind that Miller was the best candidate for the job?

Is it a case, then, that the BCA went ahead and appointed him with a cloud hanging over his head? Shouldn’t we be obliged in normal circumstances to give them the benefit of the doubt?

After all, we know  the association’s executive is comprised of all learned individuals so this couldn’t have been the situation.

We are too proud a people to put ourselves in a position to become the laughing stock of the world.

So, how did we get here? Can we be genuinely certain that due diligence was or wasn’t done by the BCA through its own means or by those with professional training in this area?

Only those who were part of the selection and ratification process can be sure of what transpired in getting to the background of any candidate who was being genuinely considered for the post of chief executive officer.

Anybody else would only be speculating and perhaps not too far from crossing the crease of litigation. It will be left, therefore, to the association to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I am sure that they will be hurrying to give their side of the story to clear up any misconceptions members of the public might be harbouring.

We are in a state of confusion and need clarification because the image of the BCA can be tarnished in the aftermath of the recent revelations.

Things happen and I am certain the association will survive this and move on, but what happens in the interim?Should Miller resign forthwith and should the general membership ask the BCA’s executive to quit as well? The answers are blowing in the wind for now, but I expect something more definitive in the coming days.

• Andi Thornhill is an experienced, award-winning sports journalist.

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